As we rather facetiously predicted on Monday, it's taken the right-wing press until today to come down hard on VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill. From Michelle Malkin hyperventilating over Ifill's book on racial politics and how it means she's "in the tank" for Obama (while ignoring other moderators' pro-Republican conflicts) to Bob Unruh carping about the "look" on her face after Palin's convention speech as evidence of her bias, the conservative base is determined to make Palin's potential debate defeat Ifill's fault. In the meantime, the book that's the basis of all the hubbub, as Michael Calderone points out, has hardly been a secret. God, everyone's in the tank, aren't they? It's like Truth itself wants Palin to lose. [National Review, Media Matters, World Net Daily, Politico]
I may get slammed for this, but even though I think Ifill fantastic and professional and would be able to serve as moderator in an unbiased fashion, I think it might be a good idea for her to step aside.
I'm a mediator and facilitator — not the same thing as a moderater, but similar in some respects — and if I were in her position I'd probably recuse myself. Even though I'd KNOW I could do a hell of a job, and wouldn't let the book I was writing affect my performance, it's the appearance of a conflict of interest that matters, and the fact that it would cast doubt on the integrity of the process and shift focus and scrutiny from what the candidates said (where it should be), to what I said (where it shouldn't be).
Think about what we Dems would say if there was a moderator who'd written a similar book on McCain and how his generation is changing the political landscape or whatever.
On the other hand, they did both already agree to Ifill as moderator, and her book wasn't a secret, so... I don't know.